There’s little room for the word “try” in Krystina Murawski’s vocabulary. Born and raised in Westchester County, New York, Murawski says she always gives 110 percent to everything that she does. “I've always been an all or nothing person. I'm either full throttle or no throttle.”
As an example, she says, “At one point I lost 50 pounds and started running. I did 5Ks, 10Ks, half marathons, full marathons and a 50K ultra marathon. I've always had this drive in me—so if I set out to achieve a goal, I always give it 110%.”
Combine this go-getter attitude with Murawski’s self-described obsession with peanut butter and you have “Noomi” (pronounced “new me”). She launched the brand in April 2018 after working fervently on her own, with friends and an executive chef mentor, Leslie Lampert, to find the right balance of ingredients for what would soon become Noomi organic peanut butter. She made—literally—over 100 different peanut butter recipes before deciding on a simple but revolutionary blend of organic dry roasted peanuts, organic Deglet Noor dates, grapeseed oil, peanut oil and Atlantic sea salt.
When Murawski was almost sure she’d settled on the one recipe she loved, she had to get confirmation from others. “I called my neighbor and said, ‘I need you to taste this. I really think I have the one,’” Murawski said. “I stopped by her apartment and blind tasted her, her husband, and her mom on batches 99 and 100—and all of them picked 100,” said Murawski.
It was in that moment, that she knew recipe 100 was her winning peanut butter. “It wasn't just ‘I like it,’” Murawski said, “it was like, ‘Oh wow, this is totally different. I can really taste the natural sweetness from the dates. This is the best peanut butter I've ever had.’”
Her neighbors weren’t the only ones who loved the peanut butter. Murawski sells Noomi to long lines of crowds at local farmers’ markets (and online). And, she landed on the radar of the Specialty Food Association’s (SFA) Summer Fancy Food Show this June, after Noomi won the SFA’s coveted “New Product” sofi™ Award in the Nut Butter, Seed Butter category for 2019. Not only is it impressive that such a young brand would win this award, Murawski’s shear perseverance and powerful story helped her get there.
Murawski got accepted as a full-time member of the Specialty Food Association as the exception to the rule of being in business at least one year. “I remember reaching out about becoming a member,” she said. “I got all of these instructions about sending samples and needing to write a waiver letter, and I was on a really tight timeline to submit my application. I told them how passionate I was about my brand and the industry, and why I believed my peanut butter was a 'specialty food.' I said, 'I'm confident that Noomi is fully operational and strategically positioned for growth, and that I can add value to the SFA and empower its mission.' I ended up getting accepted, so it was a huge accomplishment.”
But while PB is the bread and butter of her business (pardon the pun), the purpose and passion of Murawski’s Noomi brand runs deep. “Noomi is a mindset,” she said. “It's about inspiring people to pursue what they're passionate about and find their ‘new me.’ I have a broader vision to empower people who engage with the brand. I want Noomi to say, ‘You can do what you love. It's possible. Just take that first step and don't give up.’ I think the fear of starting is the hardest part for many people.”
“It wasn't just like I had a culinary background in this, or was a food scientist or former chef that could easily put this all together,” Murawski continued. “I just had a passion and a vision and a dream—and I was willing to just be courageous enough to take that first step, and not let the fear of failing keep me from pursuing my goal.”
As a new member of Rebecca Minkoff's Female Founder Collective, Murawski is also keenly aware of the role she can play in supporting and inspiring other female business owners—and female entrepreneurs of the future. “Once when I was at a market, a young mom came over with her daughter. She said, 'Look what she's done. She's built this whole business. I want you to be happy and do what you love.’”
“My goal through the brand is really to mentor and encourage people,” said Murawski. “Everyone has a story, and everyone has things that they're passionate about, and I want you to believe that it's all possible to achieve. I didn't have any experience in building a brand or starting my own business, but I made it happen—and so can you! Ultimately, I want people to see Noomi, hear the story, and realize ‘hey, I can follow my dreams too.’”